This post was originally published Nov. 30, 2016. We’ve updated it for 2019.
October is National Orthodontic Health Month! For us, it’s a time to emphasize to our patients (and prospective patients) how important orthodontic treatment is to overall health and wellness.
Since it’s close to the end of the year, this is an important time to make sure you have maximized all of your benefits before they expire!
Flexible Spending Accounts
Be sure to check the balance in your flexible spending account and make plans for spending the money by the end of the year (or the deadline set by your employer) to avoid losing the money in your account.
Remember, a flexible spending account is an employer-sponsored account used to pay for out-of-pocket medical expenses. For 2019, employees can deposit up to $2,700. For 2020, that amount is projected to be $2,750. Generally, FSAs are use-it-or-lose-it accounts. If you don’t use all of the money by the end of the plan year, it’s gone.
An FSA has a couple of advantages: First, the money funneled into the account is tax-free, meaning you don’t pay taxes on that part of your income (a huge savings). In addition, because the money is withdrawn automatically from your paycheck every pay period, it’s an easy way to budget for medical expenses that are coming up.
If you have a balance and don’t have planned medical expenses, why not use the funds to begin or continue orthodontic treatment? Orthodontic treatment with braces or Invisalign is a qualified expense under federal guidelines, even if it’s only for cosmetic purposes!
Maybe you don’t currently have an FSA, but your employer may offer one. Talk to your HR department or ask your benefits administrator how you can set up a plan that would be effective Jan. 1, 2020, during open enrollment. Some plans even allow you to “borrow” from your future deposits. That is, you can use the money before you deposit it as long as you continue to be employed and enrolled in the plan.
Either way, an FSA is a super way to put tax-free money into orthodontic treatment and can easily be worked into your payment arrangements.
Our offices will be closed the following days:
Nov. 11-18 Many of us will be attending our annual Continuing Education meeting. Our phones will be open and we will have an assistant available to help with any emergencies during most business hours.
Nov. 27 – Dec. 1 Thanksgiving (an assistant will be available limited hours for emergencies)
Dec. 19 – Jan 1 Christmas and New Year’s Day (an assistant will be available limited hours for emergencies)
We know you’ll be busy during the holidays, too, so check your calendar now and call us if you need to adjust an appointment. In addition, the January schedule is already getting full, so if orthodontic treatment is one of your New Year’s resolutions, give us a call today to schedule a free consultation.
For new patients, this is when we’ll discuss your treatment plan and cost. We provide multiple options for payment, including zero down and zero-interest financing, and we have a family care program that includes discounts when additional family members are in treatment. We also accept CareCredit, and we work directly with your insurance company to get you the best benefit possible.
— Dr. Jones & the Roanoke Valley Orthodontics Team